My family and I recently returned from a great vacation. It was great on several levels. First of all it was great spending time with the family. Second of all we saw some wonderful things. Third of all NO credit was involved. We paid cash for every thing we did. It feels so good knowing that this wonderful vacation didn’t make us go further in debt. Yes it took saving and planning but man was it worth it.
We spent 5 great days and nights in Gatlinburg, TN. For those of you who may not know where that is, it’s in eastern Tennessee in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains. Just a beautiful place to go. Great mountain scenery and wildlife.
Like I said, we were able to do every thing we wanted and paid for everything with cash. One of the things we did was go to the Dixie Stampede. This was in Pigeon Forge, TN which is another town just down the road from Gatlinburg. This is a wonderful dinner show. It lasted 2 hours and the meal was amazing. Take a look at the web site a the full menu. I’ll give you a little take if what we had. Each person had a whole chicken, a large pork chop, soup, and desert among other items. I don’t know how but I ate everything.
We also went to the Titanic museum.This was also in Pigeon Forge, TN. This was a great museum. before we entered they gave each of us a card with the name and a little information about a passenger. Throughout out the museum the kids were looking for information about the people on their card. At the end of the end of the tour there is a memorial wall that has all the names of all the people who were on board and whether they lived or not. It was great seeing the girls excitement at they look for the names on the wall. A great place for fun and education.
Ripley’s Aquarium was the best aquarium I’ve ever been to. It’s not the largest but it was the most informative and fun. This was in downtown Gatlinburg. They have lots of tunnels and “caves” that the kids can crawl into and make them feel like they are actually in the water with the fish. The big hit with my kids was the Penguin Playhouse. They just loved it.
We also spent one day just driving through the national forest. We went to one place in the national forest called Cades Cove. No we didn’t get to see any Black Bears but we did see a lot of Deer and a few Turkeys. We also so a lot of historic churches and other buildings.
We had a great time and not once did I worry about how we were going to pay this all off. We knew how much money we had budgeted for the trip and as long as we didn’t go over that amount we were good. Other vacations I couldn’t enjoy because of money worry and then when we got home we added it all up and realized we spent way more than we thought. This time we feel great (with the exception of a little back pain from from the hotel bed, just cant seem to avoid that) about the vacation and we are still smiling and talking about the great time we had.
So, take that great family vacation but don’t take the bills home with you.